At the end of last school year my 10 year old expressed continued interest in learning Japanese. Since Kindergarten he has been learning Mandarin. I didn’t want to add another language to his plate so I decided to let him have a go at Japanese and drop Mandarin for now.
I also didn’t want to invest a bunch of money into materials for Japanese until I had him get his feet wet and see his motivation and progress. I stumbled across a couple of apps that we have been using for a couple months now.
I have been going through this app with my son. We are only a couple chapters into it, but so far I’m finding it to be a very thorough and understandable program. It covers reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Exercises and quizzes are woven into the app to help me know that my son is retaining information. I’m using the free Lite version, but plan to update to the full version soon.
I have my son do this one on his own. It comes with 150 lessons. I can check to see which lessons are completed and his score for the lesson. There are also quizzes as well to help me measure progress. This neat app has text that is read aloud in speech bubbles, making it more engaging. There is a free version with a few lessons to try out.
For now, I’m having my son alternate between the two apps so our set-up this year is pretty simple. He is spending about an hour a week on Japanese right now and is learning and motivated to learn more. It does seem to come easier to him than Mandarin so it looks like we will be sticking with it for awhile.